The Advent of Kindness…

(Today’s Author is Lou from MWM Kingsteignton)

It’s an exciting time of year for many this run-up to Christmas time, this Advent, but for others it’s a gradual build-up of the stress and strain that the festive season can bring to already rather full plates.

Just as a little antidote to all the Christmas craziness, this time I thought I’d share this with you…just a little collections of thoughts really…popped up on my Facebook page, so I can’t take any credit at all for it…here goes:-

It’s called the Advent of Kindness. And it lists 25 kind and thoughtful things you could consider doing on all the first 25 days of December to aid your fellow man/woman and generally make the world a better place.

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1. Give someone a hug or a compliment
2. Let someone in front of you in a queue
3. Buy a friend or colleague coffee
4. Hold the door open for someone
5. Give a friend or loved one your full attention
6. Donate a Christmas present to charity
7. Tell a joke to make someone smile
8. Do something kind for yourself
9. Hide a happy note for someone to find
10. Donate unwanted books to charity
11. Tape some money on a vending machine
12. Smile at a stranger
13. Get in touch with an old friend or relative
14. Let a car in front of you in traffic
15. Write or send a thank you note to someone
16. Smile and thank someone who serves you
17. Tell someone you love them
18. Pay for a stranger’s coffee
19. Offer to help someone
20. Feed animals (birds, deer, hedgehogs etc)
21. Donate unwanted clothes to charity
22. Do something unexpected for someone
23. Give a treat to your postal carrier
24. Do something kind for yourself
25. Reflect and record how much joy this season brought you

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I’m pleased to notice on reading such a list, that many of the things here are things I do frequently throughout the year, not just at Christmas! But there are some here I could take on board and attempt. Spread the love, why not! Without wanting to overburden already busy people mind you. The most important ones for busy carers of small people are number 8 and number 24, as lets face it, we seldom prioritize ourselves do we? It’s vital during this busy time of year to make time for yourself, eat that breakfast sat down, enjoy five minutes over a cup of tea – don’t be a martyr to parenthood as the demands can sometimes feel overwhelming. During these dark winter days, energies are low, take care of yourself so you are able to care for those who rely on you. Stay well. Take vitamins.

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My current experience of motherhood I sometimes feel I could liken to wearing a long, heavy weather-proof coat – it protects you from the downpours and outpourings, it is used to shelter and nurture others, it covers you from head to toe acting like an invisibility cloak – that parent person with their caregiving role and responsibilities eclipses the adult person that once existed independently and enjoyed a rather different life…

My two little pickles (or actually not so little judging by the shortness of their pj trousers) had to be extra patient this year before starting their Advent journey since the kind benefactors of their Lego Christmas countdown devices (other brick-led building toys are available!) happened to be on holiday. This is not a rare occurrence, the holidays I mean not the forgetting things – my dear Dad cheekily admits with a grin he’s spending my inheritance. Both Nana and Grandpa had totally forgotten about the Advent calendars so we enjoyed 5 days worth of window opening and model building in one night this week! I can now look forward to nearly a months worth of listening to them both, first thing in the morning before we’re out of bed, quietly discussing that morning’s creation and busily assembling the tiny Christmas themed creations. Or Star Wars, of course, because there is nothing that says Christmas more than Star Wars is there?!

So, I hope you enjoy this festive season, the visiting Santa, the choosing the tree, the decorating and preparing and cooking, enjoying (or not!) the company of family and friends. And if it all gets too much, take a note from Frozen and “let it go!”. 2018 is just around the corner and is sure to be full of surprises and adventures 😊

Lou x x x

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